Tag: NFL

No LeBron, the NFL Is Not Slavery

By Jack Parkos | United States

NBA superstar turned pseudo-political activist LeBron James has recently stated that NFL owners have a “slave mentality”. LeBron James was quoted in his show, The Shop, saying,

“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality, and it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all.”

Not only is this claim blasphemous, but it is insulting to people who were actual victims of slavery. Under slavery, slaves were captured from their homes (or were born into it) and were subject to forced labor, daily beatings, and separation from their family. They obviously had no choice in the matter, yet Lebron compared this to choosing to pursue stardom by having a profession of playing a game. No doubt playing in the NFL is hard, but it is nothing compared to slave labor.

Slavery Vs. The NFL

The highest NFL player, Aaron Rodgers, makes 30 million a year with the average player making an average of 2.5 million a year. What was the wage of a slave? Nothing.  They were forced into labor or faced severe punishment. Lebron claims that if NFL players slack off they get punished in a similar manner to slaves. This is an absurd comparison for many reasons, mainly being that slaves were forced into their labor. In the NFL, you sign a contract and voluntarily participate. Nobody is forced into being a professional football player. Former NFL player Antonio Gates disagreed with Lebron James, stating,

“I don’t know all the owners—I know my owner, and, my relationship with my owner has been phenomenal. And, it’s sports. You know what I mean? You get paid to play. We all know what we sign up for a lot of us make a really good living, man, being able to support our families at the same time. So, it is what it is.”

Moreover, if you do bad at your job, then naturally, your boss can fire you. This isn’t magically changed because you make millions of year and play a sport. It is your job. If you don’t do your job, you don’t keep your job. If you do not like your job, you can find another one. That is one of the benefits of the free market. A characteristic of slavery is when one does not have access to the free market. Slave owners did not “get rid of” them and let them go to find a new job. LeBron is truly being insulting by comparing these two immensely different situations.

The NFL has turned thousands of people into millionaires and celebrities by doing what they love. Millions of kids have grown up dreaming to play football. Millions of Americans tune into the sport that has become a huge part of American culture. To compare this to one of the most shameful parts of American history is disgusting. Naturally, he has received much backlash from his comments and rightfully so. His comments were insulting and absurd.

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Richie Incognito Under Fire Once Again By NFL

By Nick Hamilton | USA

When you think of the current state of the NFL and the current climate of our country today, you really wouldn’t think of an NFL player allegedly inciting racism.

Well, I was just as shocked as you are to learn that Bills Tackle Richie Incognito has been accused by Jacksonville Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue of directing racial slurs towards the defensive end.

Ngakoue took to Twitter to speak about this issue:

Great win to day! And 64, you goin have to come harder than some weak racist slurs. I’m proud of my African heritage, as are 70% of the other Black players in this league. #Iaintjonathanmartin!

64 is the number that Incognito wears.

Now, while 71Republic is not picking sides, it wouldn’t be fair to form an opinion on this issue without prior knowledge.

This isn’t the first time Incognito has been accused of using racial slurs. Back in 2013, when Incognito played for the Miami Dolphins, he was accused (and eventually proven guilty in an investigation by Ted Wells) of using racial slurs in a series of text messages and voicemails towards then-teammate Jonathan Martin. He was suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season and didn’t play until 2015.

Bills LT Dion Dawkins, who is African American, denies all allegations thrown at Incognito, saying in a tweet:

Just for the world to know, everyone always tryna put some bad thing on @68INCOGNITO I was next to my guy the entire game and the entire season and believe me, if he was saying some racist stuff I would have been the first to let him know that was out of line. Cut The BS

The NFL has stated that it will launch an investigation into the matter.

Was it a Catch?

By Colin Reno | USA

In the crucial December 18th match-up between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans were given an amazing game from kickoff to the very last drive. This exhibition featured the two best records in the AFC, fighting for position of the number one seed in the conference and rights to home field advantage throughout the upcoming playoffs. The Patriots were up 27-24 after scoring on the previous drive, the Steelers were given the ball back with 51 seconds left on the game clock. After a 69-yard reception from QB Roethlisberger to WR Smith-Schuster, Roethlisberger attempted to a pass to TE Jesse James on the edge of the goal line. James left his feet to catch the ball, as he came down to the turf, he attempted to stretch the ball across the goal line. The play was ruled a touchdown, but later overturned due to a challenge replay. Roethlisberger attempted a short pass to WR Hayward-Bay for a 3-yard gain on the next snap. The Steelers were forced to go “no huddle” with 9 seconds left, with no time-outs in the half. Roethlisberger then attempted a “fake spike” to catch the defense off-guard. The ball was thrown towards WR Rodgers, but was tipped into the air by Patriots’ CB Rowe, later intercepted by CB Harmon. After one final snap by the Patriots’ offense, New England emerged victorious.

The great Vince Lombardi once said, “Football is a game of inches and inches make the champion.” This held very true on Monday night when the game was ruled in favor of the Patriots by a mere inch. As Steelers’ TE Jesse James stretched his arms across the goal line, the tip of the ball fell out of his hands and skimmed the turf and was ruled an incomplete pass by officials. This ruling has had the league in flames, but what many people do not know is the true definition of a “catch”. Article 3 of the NFL’s official rule book, a player must “a) secure control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; b) and touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and c) maintains control of the ball after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, until he has the ball long enough to clearly become a runner. A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning upfield, or taking additional steps.” Player Jesse James never fulfilled part (c) of the league’s constitution of a catch. By leaving his feet to attempt a play at the ball, James was never able to become a “runner”, thus factoring in a new amendment in the rule, nicknamed the “Calvin Johnson Rule”. This amendment states “If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any part of his body to the ground, it is not a catch.” Since James attempted to stretch his arms across the goal line while not being an eligible runner, once the tip of the ball hits the turf the play is dead and the pass is considered incomplete.

This one ruling may have cost Pittsburgh “home field advantage”, which could end up being a crucial factor late in the playoffs. Instead of playing in Heinz Field, one of the rowdiest stadiums in the league, the Steelers could possibly be taking a trip up north to Foxborough to take on the Patriots in a rematch that many are anticipating to be the AFC Championship game. Since 2002, New England has had an NFL’s best 118-23 record at home. Playing 573 miles north could end up costing Pittsburgh a trip to the Super Bowl, which would leave Steelers fans – and football fans alike – wondering, “What if Jesse James scored?”.

NFL Network Suspends Three Reporters Amid Sexual Assault Allegations; Formal Complaint Filed

By Nick Hamilton  | USA

The NFL Network has suspended three reporters due to sexual harassment allegations. These three men, all former players, are being accused of sexually harassing the network’s makeup artist, Jami L. Cantor.

The three reportersMarshall Faulk, Heath Evans, and Ike Taylor are all former NFL players. Faulk was a running back, who played for the Indianapolis Colts and the St. Louis Rams. Taylor played cornerback for twelve seasons, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Evans was a fullback who played for the Seahawks, Dolphins, Patriots and Saints, all in a span of nine years.

A formal complaint was filed by Cantor and her lawyers against the NFL Network on Monday, with complaints about ELEVEN different things. It was also mentioned in the report that Cantor had to use her own credit card to support the wardrobe department, as the NFL Network didn’t have any wardrobe budget whatsoever. She was never reimbursed for this by the network. The complaint also mentions that Former Executive Producer Eric Weinberger, ‘Sent the plaintiff several nude pictures of himself and explicit texts, including but not limited to [Plaintiff] was put on earth to pleasure me,” and “watching you walk down the hall makes me crazy, your a** drives me insane.” While at work, Mr.Weinberger asked Plaintiff to meet him in the back bathroom because he needed to see her and was “super horny.’ There were also a few other things in that section of the complaint that we’re just going to go ahead and let you read it for yourself if you really would like to know.

Marshall Faulk was reportedly asking Cantor very personal questions about her sex life and greeted her every morning by groping her behind and fondling her breasts. He also reportedly invited her into his hotel room and pinned her against a wall, demanding oral sex. Ike Taylor reportedly sent a nude video of himself in the shower, and Eric Davis reportedly rubbed against Cantor in her office, telling her that she makes his **** hard and that she’d know exactly what to do in bed. When Cantor slapped his hand away, he reportedly aggressively told her to never slap his hand away again.

Cantor was also forced by the NFL Network to do work in the men’s bathroom during her employment. While working one day, former analyst Warren Sapp came in and started urinating in front of her. When told to get out, he said that “Your office should not be our shitter.”

Cantor made allegations eight employees in total. According to the complaint, the network did absolutely nothing about these complaints, and instead increased her workload and cutting her hours, making it more difficult for her to do her job. She was fired October 10th, 2016 after accusations of stealing from the establishment, when security camera footage shows that isn’t the case at all. (according to the complaint) Cantor and her attorneys officially demanded a trial by a jury yesterday.

NFL is Taking From Breast Cancer, Veteran Funds, To Pay For ‘Social Justice’ Settlement

By Jason Patterson | USA

Eric Reid told reporters on Saturday that the NFL is planning to use money put away for breast cancer charities and the “Salute to Service” veterans fund to pay for a seven-year, $89 million “social justice” new organization to help placate protesting players.

This unamerican, unthankful, racist movement was first started by out-of-work second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, and retired NFLer Anquan Boldin. Forced the former, all American sport to announce the nearly-$100 million initiative last week as a way of “settling” with a coalition of players who have been kneeling during the national anthem.

At the announcement, they said the NFL said only that owners would be allowed to allocate funds to “projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.” But, Reid says, the money spent on these projects isn’t new — it’s simply being reallocated from existing charitable giving projects. At this point, there was still some questions to clear up.

Of course, due to basic human nature, the players don’t agree on if this was a good solution. A couple players blamed  Players Coalition leaders for holding beliefs no longer in the best interests of the protesters. While others claim the money was an out-and-out bribe and refused to sell out their cause for any amount, others saw the deal as merely rearranging the deck chairs. Their concern was that the NFL would allocate funds already earmarked for charity, or spend it on public service announcements that essentially are advertising for the league. In this situation its simple, no one will end up happy, just a bunch of spoiled babies, who want their way.

As of last Sunday, these protests have still been active. This pathetic attempt was to solve the slumping ratings. All this has done so far, is cause my controversy. Now, at this point, the only question is, should I boycott the NFL?

This week’s national anthem protesters again came from the usual collection of kneelers, sitters, and fist-raisers.

For the Los Angeles Chargers, left tackler Russell Okung continued his raised fist during the national anthem, as he has done for several weeks. Okung is one of the players who said he will continue to protest during the anthem, rejecting any compromise crafted by the Players Association and the league.

At Oakland, running back Marshawn Lynch again remained seated during the US national anthem (the Mexican national anthem, which Lynch stood for weeks ago, was not performed) before his team’s game against the Giants. Lynch later used the energy saved by sitting during the game, breaking off a long run for the first Raiders touchdown in the game.

The Los Angeles Rams continued to see linebacker Robert Quinn put his right fist in the air during the anthem, with punter Johnny Hekker against putting his arm around Quinn in support, a maneuver they have done most of the season. Running back Todd Gurley and receiver Tavon Austin linked arms.

In New Orleans, the Saints once again knelt as a team in unity before the national anthem, rising once the song began. Some players and coaches locked arms.

At the Meadowlands, cornerback Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs stood in the tunnel during the national anthem, coming back to the field once the song ended. He has done that for five straight games after sitting in the early part of the season.

In Miami, safety Michael Thomas, tight end Julius Thomas, and wide receiver Kenny Stills all kneeled during the anthem, as they have done for weeks. The trio recently returned to the field after staying in the tunnel for weeks after receiving approval from coach Adam Gase.

The San Francisco 49ers saw receiver Marquise Goodwin, safety Eric Reid, and linebacker Eli Harold kneel during the anthem before their game against the Bears. Receiver Louis Murphy stood behind them with his right fist in the air. Reid is among the players adamantly opposed to the league’s money offer.

For the Tennessee Titans, receiver Rishard Matthews stayed in the locker room during the anthem but emerged after. He is currently out with a hamstring injury.

The lone new voice in the protest coalition was Baltimore Ravens linebacker, Tyus Bowser. He knelt in prayer in the end zone during the beginning of the national anthem before running to the sideline and putting his hand over his heart.